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Handmade Tile Association Newsletter



This year the HTA is transitioning from an organization that has been focusing on people just getting to know the tile and mosaic artists exist to an organization trying to focus on our core audience and how we can better serve them as we continue to grow. We are Concepts like the 10th year planning party, engaging the historic tile collector crowd, and working with local art centers to have more gallery shows featuring handmade tile and mosaic art. 
Over the year the meetings will try to focus on developing programing that the members feel would best serve that new purpose.   It is important that we get your feedback so we all have insignt into how we should develop as a complete group not just from one point of view.  Please think about the issues at hand and send the HTA an e-mail, call, or bring your ideas to the meetings so we can discuss them.  Thank you
In This Issue
Registration open for MN Tile Festival
HTA Tile Presentation to MAPA
Public Art Info
Northern Clay Center Opportunities
Next HTA meeting
MN Tile Festival Marketing
500 Tiles Book
Art of the Home
Meeting Attendance
10th Year Planning
Tag Line Ideas
Register Open for the MN Tile Festival
The 2008 MN Tile Festival registration forms are now available both on line and by visiting Clay Squared to Infinity.  All artist members and those who did the show last year will receive a registration form in the mail. 
The outside booths always go first  and we only have 14 outdoor spaces so if it is important to you to have an outdoor space do not procrastinate.  Click here to download a registration form.

tile festival image
New this year: we will put your company name and a free link to your website on the MN Tile Festival page after you register.  The HTA gets a lot of people scoping out the tile festival all year so get some free advertising by registering early. 
HTA Tile Presentation to MAPA
Roger Mayland of North Prairie Tileworks will be giving a presentation of the Handmade Tile Association to the Minnesota Art Pottery Association on February 13, 2008 at 7:30.  Roger is asking artists to get him examples of your work 1 to 3 pieces to show and talk about handmade tile.  Please contact Roger to set up a time to drop off your work 612-871-3421.  HTA members are also invited to attend and encouraged to go.

Presentation will be held at the Wood Lake Nature Center, 6710 Lake Shore Dr., Richfield, MN 55423

Directions at

They get 30-50 people per meeting. It is a friendly group. Bring tiles--MAPA members love to see and handle ceramic objects! They also encourage members to bring examples from their own collections for display and comment at the meeting.
Public Art Info
Every week the HTA receives information on public art request for artists to submit.  Most of them do not relate to tiles but the ones that do  I try to put out on the newsletter.  There have been many issues surrounding tile artists applying for public art projects as well.  Some of those issues include that the organizations do not budget in enough money for the installation as well as the design of the project.  What should a tile artist submit, art, installations, details, architectural drawings, all of the above? 
To answer some of these questions the HTA invited Mary Altman the Minneapolis Public Art Administrator.  It is Mary's job to get RFQ (Requests for Qualifications) and RFP (Requests for Proposals) from the City of Minneapolis out to artists.  She also disseminates other opportunities in the public art field that she is sent. 
Mary gave us a great overview of what is important to the jurors and what artists need to focus on.  Issues like making sure anyone can look at your submitted slide and know what it is without having to guess about it.  She showed us slides of people who did not do this and those who did and it gave us a view into what it would be like as a juror. 
Most of the proposals that go out by the city currently are the RFQ's and are done before the project is even designed and before they know where the art work would be placed.  The goal is to leverage the artist concepts into the entire project allowing more resources and planning to go into the project.  The down side is that you have to have experience of doing other projects to qualify.  Sort of a what comes first issue the chicken or egg for artists.  The city does do RFP's on occasion but Mary said it is the older way of how cities get art into projects.  Currently there is a RFP for public water fountains  To get the proposal contact and she will get you on the list to find out about Calls to Artists. 
Mary also pointed out that most public art projects only have about 20 - 24 people apply for a project.  This is a very small pool to choose from and she encouraged tile artists to apply.  On larger projects like the downtown Mpls Library there were 150 applicants and that is when the competition is much greater. 
One major insight is the artists that get into public art projects typically send the same set of slides and a standard text proposal with slight modifications for each project they apply for.  Over time these artists get picked because they have figured out the system and utilize it to their advantage. 
Working as a pubic artist can be a highly rewarding and give an artist great name recognition and a chance to do large scale projects most of the public could never afford to commission. If you decide to go into this world it would be advised to have a plan and a long term goal of applying for many projects since it takes a while to figure out how to get one and then how to finish the project. Public art is not the venue to try if you do not like rejection it takes patience and persistence to achieve the goal.
Other venues to learn more about Public Art
Forecast Public Art
City of Minneapolis Public Art
Percent for Art Program
Northern Clay Center Opportunities

The NCC has been a big supporter of the HTA over the years.  Partnering with us to put on the first national tile conference in 2001  "Tiles in the Twin Cities", participating in the MN Tile Festival with their Clay Mobile, they have selected tile artist to showcase in their shop, hosting meetings for the HTA, creating tile making classes and workshops, distributing directories, and putting announcements in about our events in their newsletters.  This year is no different.  Sarah Millfelt outreach and education coordinator happily accepted my request to have a 2008 meeting at the clay center and gave us a great overview about how to apply to the gallery, shop and grant projects that they offer.
The NCC has two gallery spaces.  The larger of the two is reserved for invited, Jerome, and McKnight shows.  Artists or groups are selected by a committee made up of staff and community members with ceramic backgrounds.  There is an annual Jerome and McKnight call for proposals.
The second gallery, a smaller space but still large for many artists to fill, is open to more proposed shows.  There is a back log of shows currently and they are working on 2010-2011 shows currently. NCC invites proposals for these exhibitions that require artwork made either partially or completely of ceramic materials. There will be at least one exhibition opportunity each year. Gallery A will be made available for these opportunities. The gallery space measures 31' x 19' with a wall height of 11'. There are two windows on the south wall of the space. The maximum size for an object is 9.5' x 5.5'. 
The HTA is working to try to create a group show but in the mean time tile artists should consider writing their own proposals for the space too. The more interest and range that the jurors see the better chance of getting a tile show coming to fruition. 
The Northern Clay Center shop takes new artists every 2 years the next opportunity to apply will be for 2009.  This is a great venue to sell your work and most tile people do not apply so Sarah encourages you to submit your work and the HTA will post the next opportunity as it comes available.
If you have not been to the clay center in awhile make a trip.  It is well worth it to see the contemporary ceramic shows and pottery being made.  The library is filling up with some great ceramic books and if you ever wanted to teach a tile or mosaic class I am sure they would be very receptive to the concept. 
Next HTA Meeting February 26th

The Next HTA meeting will be February 26th at the Bloomington Art Center at 6pm. Potluck
Bloomington Art Center
1800 W Old Shakopee Rd
Bloomington MN 55431
Special Guest Laurie Olson from ABC Accounting.  Laurie is back to talk taxes.   One of our most popular speakers, she will talk about issues related to taxes for artists including workers comp.  Bring your questions and pencils. 

Tour the Art of Home Exhibit - many HTA members showing work.
Distribute the 2008 Directory
Review tag line entries
10th year planning talk
MN Tile Festival Marketing
Sabra Waldfogel has volunteered to be our marketing coordinator for the 2008 MN Tile Festival.  This is a great development.  Sabra is a writer on Architecture and Design by trade, she is also a collector of pottery and tile.  Sabra told the HTA members at the meeting that Joe Taylor of the THF calls her a "tile nut"  which in our definition is great.  Sabra has developed a comprehensive marketing plan for the tile festival and is looking for volunteers to implement it. 
Some of the programs she is developing are seminars to help artists display and sell their work better, drawing the historic crowd to the tile festival with ideas like a Antique Roadshow table where people can bring their historic tiles and get them assessed and a historic tile show at the American Swedish Institute a month before the tile festival.  Click on her marketing plan and read it over and if you are interested in helping implementing it please contact Sabra and she will get you set up.
We are looking for venues to have meetings for 2008 l If you would like to host a meeting please contact the HTA to set one up.

Josh Blanc
Handmade Tile Association.LLC
Quick Links
500 Tiles Book
500 tiles500 Tiles part of a series of books produced by Lark Books.  Lark has been a great friend of tile artist with great book titles by Frank Giorgini Handmade Ceramic Tile, Architectural Ceramic Tile and many others.  This new book features 6 HTA members and dozens of upper Midwest tile artists. 
The HTA is going to try to coordinate a book signing of each of the members featured in the book and auction them off at the MN Tile Festival.  Reserve yours today!
You can purchase the book from the artists themselves and at Clay Squared to Infinity.
The Six of the Handmade Tile Association members that were published in this book are Byran Johnson & Sandre Griffin, Josh Blanc, Laura McCaul, Norma Hanlon, Karin Kraemer, and Deb LeAir.

Art of the Home at the Bloomington Art Center
The Bloomington Art Center is putting on a Art of Home Show and many HTA members have been asked to participate.  The next HTA meeting will be here too.  Details below

: February 15-March 21, 2008
Artisans: Kristen Arden, Josh Blanc, Mercedes Austin, Tracy Donovan, Heidi Henderson, Marty Hicks, Paula Jensen, Christopher & Stacy Kelly, Ira A. Keer, Amanda Knoll, Kelly Marshall, Kyle Osvog, Charles Pitschka, Paris Renfroe, Thomas R. Schrunk, Janna Schneider, Sheryl Tuorila and
Kate Woodman.
Location: Inez Greenberg Gallery
Artists' Reception: Thursday, Feb. 21, 6-8 pm
Meeting Attendance
Meeting attendance - 16
Host Northern Clay Center
Sarah Millfelt
Speakers- Mary Altman public art
Jeanne McKassay Insurance issues
Sabra Walfold - Tile Festival Marketing

Nancy Froseth
Dave Aichinger
Kevin P, Ohara
Byron Moore
Sabra Waldford
PJ Muphy
Marcia Glancy
Roger Mayland
Chad Fitch
Josh Blanc
Miriam Shuros
10th Year Planning
10th year planning has started.  Members at the January meeting said they would like to consider.
A members dinner so  members can get to know each other better. 
Recognition to supporters of the HTA
A silent auction
Group show or gallery show.
Event at a restaurant.

Some of the logistics of a 10th year party is the HTA can not produce this for free so we will looking for individuals to help.  The HTA might also use this as a fundraiser for a special event like the tile festival or other project members deem important. 
A caveat for awards.  The HTA members have pride in the fact that we do not have favorites or have a political organization so if we go in the awards direction it would be suggested that we do it on a merit system not a favorites of what people like.   Something dealing with innovation or accomplishments would fit the style of our organization best. 
Tag Line Ideas
We had a nice response to the Tag Line concept from the last newsletter.
Here are some of the concepts people submitted:

Tile, past, present, future

Focusing on tile past, present, future

Art Tile and Mosaics For Living

Personalize your home with HTA creations 

make your decor distinctive
Distinctive decor personalized by HTA

Handmade tiles and mosaics by local artists

Connecting people to tile and mosaic artists

Where to find handmade tile and mosaics"

This is a good start.  Do any of these strike you and embody the HTA as a whole?  Would any of these tag lines make sense featured on the directory on the website and in advertising? If so please send your comments to Josh and I will post new ideas at the next meeting and in the newsletter.

Note any tag line takes time and criticism to make sure we cover all the bases.  We have until the end of the year to get one developed. Look them over and add to them  or make new ones.  This is important so please have fun with it and see where it takes you.
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